15 Individuals Disciplined for Negligence
The Department of the Air Force has released a report detailing the findings of an Air Force Inspector General (IG) investigation into a breach of national security. The investigation discovered that individuals in the 102nd Intelligence Wing, based at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts, “failed to take proper action” after becoming aware of unauthorized intelligence-seeking activities by one of their members, Teixeira. The report, however, did not find evidence of awareness among the supervisory chain.
In response to the investigation, disciplinary and administrative actions have been initiated against 15 individuals within the Air National Guard. These actions range from relieving individuals of their positions, including command roles, to non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall, stated, “Every Airman and Guardian is entrusted with the solemn duty to safeguard our nation’s security. When there is a breach of that sacred trust, for any reason, we will act to hold responsible individuals accountable.”
Commanders Face Consequences
Two commanders within the 102nd Intelligence Wing have faced administrative actions as a result of concerns over unit culture and compliance with policies and standards. Col. Sean Riley, the 102 IW commander, has been relieved of command for cause, while Col. Enrique Dovalo, the 102d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group commander, has also faced administrative action.
The 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group has been taken off mission following the discovery of Teixeira as the source of the unauthorized disclosures. The group’s mission has been reassigned to other organizations within the Air Force.
Failings in Security Measures
The IG report identified several factors that contributed to the unauthorized disclosure by Teixeira. These included inadequate inspection of command areas, inconsistent guidance for reporting security incidents, inefficient processes for administering disciplinary actions, and a lack of supervision/oversight of night shift operations.
The investigation also revealed that the 102 IW leadership did not effectively prioritize mission security and failed to take the necessary actions to fulfill their security program responsibilities. The report emphasized the importance of leaders at all levels protecting critical assets to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Department-Wide Security Improvements
As a result of the IG investigation, the Air Force has implemented various security improvements. These reforms aim to enhance procedures related to the “need to know” principle and classified access. The department is also focusing on improving accountability for the protection of classified and sensitive information.
Discord Used as Platform for Unauthorized Disclosures
The Department of Justice has filed charges against Teixeira, who allegedly began sharing military secrets on the social media platform Discord. Teixeira, who held a top-secret security clearance, is reported to have shared classified documents and photographs of files marked as “SECRET” and “TOP SECRET.” The motive behind these actions has not been disclosed by the DOJ.
The breach of national security highlights the importance of robust security measures and the need for constant vigilance in safeguarding classified information.